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The Niagara County Legislature this week voted to extend its agreement with Destination Niagara USA (formerly known as the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation) for another three years. Destination Niagara USA is the official destination marketing organization for Niagara County.
Currently, Niagara County collects a 5% bed tax on all hotel rooms outside of Niagara Falls and Lockport, which collect their own bed tax. Under the agreement, Niagara County distributes 95% of the first 4% collected to Destination Niagara USA, with that remaining 1% dedicated to the Discover Niagara Shuttle. Niagara County keeps 5% for administrative expenses in collecting the tax.
“The Niagara County Legislature believes Destination Niagara USA has been instrumental in bringing tourist dollars and capital investment to our community, and been very successful in reinvigorating our tourist sector following the pandemic,” said Niagara County Manager Rick Updegrove, who sits on the Destination Niagara USA board of directors. “This is a continuation of the agreement that has been in place since 2003 when the county Department of Tourism and the Niagara Falls Convention Bureau merged to create one entity to run tourism promotion.”
John Percy, CEO of Destination Niagara USA, said the organization has been hitting its metrics, as tourism spending in Niagara County reached $831 million in 2021, which represents an increase of 9% over prepandemic levels. More than $52 million in local taxes were generated by tourism in 2021, and 21% of Niagara County’s total workforce is employed in the industry, according to an economic impact study done by Tourism Economics.
“Tourism has a major impact on the economic prosperity of the region, and we appreciate the support of Niagara County as the team at Destination Niagara USA remains committed to promoting the destination and expanding visitation throughout the county,” Percy said.